Rozier Scores Career-High 43 PTS, Hornets Edged Out by Pelicans
Charlotte Goes Cold Offensively in 4th Quarter, Struggles with Turnovers in Loss
A game that looked to be in the Hornets’ control for most of the second half tilted in favor of the New Orleans Pelicans over the final few minutes, leading to a tough 112-110 loss for the hosts on Sunday night at Spectrum Center.
Terry Rozier led the way with a career-high 43 points – 18 in the second quarter – on 16-of-26 shooting (7-of-11 from three), five rebounds and four assists in the loss. This marked Rozier’s fourth-ever 40-point performance and he is also now the fourth different player in franchise history to reach this single-game threshold at least three times in a single season (Kemba Walker, Glen Rice and Kelly Tripucka).
Down nine heading into the second quarter, the Hornets turned the tables with a 21-4 run and outscored the Pelicans in the frame, 42-23, to enter halftime with a 10-point advantage. New Orleans kept battling throughout the second half though, pulling ahead 99-98 by the 8:35 mark of the fourth.
From that point, it became a push-and-pull affair the rest of the way, with the Pelicans inching ahead by two on a Jaxson Hayes alley-oop layup and about 1:40 remaining. After several empty possessions on both sides, Hayes stretched New Orleans’ advantage to four on a close hook shot with about 10 seconds left, leaving virtual no time for a game-tying rebuttal.
“We had some good looks, a couple at the rim. The shots we had, we didn’t knock down,” said Coach Borrego afterwards. “Give them credit for their fourth-quarter defense. Our defense gave us a chance – twenty-three points in the fourth quarter isn’t bad. The problem is you only score fourteen. We had some spacing and some turnover issues there late, but I thought our guys battled tonight.”
LaMelo Ball added 22 points, four rebounds, a team-high five assists and two steals for the Hornets, who came up just short of notching the franchise’s first-ever season-series sweep of New Orleans. Cody Zeller (17 points) and PJ Washington (14) also scored in double figures with the latter adding a team-high 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the campaign.
Eric Bledsoe had 24 points and a season-high 11 assists for his fourth double-double of the season in the win. Hayes (18 points), James Johnson (17), Naji Marshall (13), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (12) and Lonzo Ball (12) all crossed the 10-point plateau as well and Willy Hernangómez added nine points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the victors.
Charlotte finished with just 14 points on 31% shooting in the fourth quarter and on the night, committed 19 turnovers leading to 25 points for New Orleans. The Pelicans outscored Charlotte by eight in the second-chance points department (21-13), despite missing big men Zion Williamson, Steven Adams and second-leading scorer Brandon Ingram.
The Hornets will next play host to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, May 11 starting at 7 PM EST at Spectrum Center. Catch all the action on Bally Sports and WFNZ 610 AM or 102.5 FM.